Mar 16, 2016

Hooking up the wood burning stove to the chimney.

Once we were done with the cedar on the walls and ceiling, we were ready to get the Kuuma sauna stove installed. First challenge was to get it in the sauna building. The beast is made of quarter inch metal and weighs 350 pounds and takes in 100 pounds of FireBrick luckily in a separate box J . We wheeled the stove out of the garage on a dolly, then had 3 guys pick it up and place it in to our sauna building. Once inside, we set it on top of the patio pavers that it will live on and adjusted its position to line up with the chimney in the ceiling. From there, we needed to hook up the stove to the chimney support box with a single wall black pipe. The pipe comes open and needs to be bent and clicked together to assemble like a duct pipe. There are 2 sides to each pipe—a crimped side and a straight side. The pipes are sold in 12 and 24 inch lengths I believe. There may be others. Once I assembled the pipe in to a round stack, the crimped end then went in to the stove. My stove had a hole in the receiving pipe for a sheet metal screw to secure the pipe. I put in my pipe, marked the hole location, took the pipe out, tapped and drilled the hole out.

Single wall black pipe hooked up to the stove.
Single wall black pipe hooked up to the stove.

The stove also requires that a damper is installed in the first pipe. This is a 6 inch pipe which requires a 6 inch damper. I dry fitted the damper in to the pipe making sure that when it opens, the second pipe doesn’t interfere with it. This means I set it about 5 inches from the top of the black pipe. Once I found a good location, I taped and drilled the hole for the damper shaft. Once I got the hole drilled, I installed the damper inside the pipe. When it was in, centered and tested, I used the shaft to tap a mark on the opposite side of the pipe where the shaft will exit. I took out the damper, drilled the tapped hole. Now the damper could be installed fully. With the damper installed, I put the pipe back in to the stove and secured it with a sheet metal screw to the stove where I drilled the first hole. I then attached the second pipe which got me closer to the support box. That second pipe is attached to the first pipe via the crimped end and 3 sheet metal screws.

The support box came with a round smoke collar as part of the kit. I slipped that collar in to the support box. It had 4 holes for screws, but the fit for me was tight and I didn’t feel comfortable making holes in the support box. For my last and final connection to the chimney support box, I used what’s called a 6 Inch Adjustable Stove Pipe Slip Joint. It saves you from cutting your stove pipe and is cheap! The deep part of it slipped over the black pipe I had attached to the stove. The shallow part connects to the chimney inside the chimney support box.  This slip joint is very tightly made to go over the pipe. A trick I used is I sprayed WD-40 on a paper towel and applied it to the outside of the pipe and inside the Slip Joint. I was then able to have it go on the pipe and move freely enough to adjust it. After the first firing, it quickly burned off.

So, now that the Slip Joint was on the black pipe, I carefully slid the Slip Join up and inserted it in to the chimney at the support box. I secured it to the black pipe with 3 sheet metal screws.


With the stove finally hooked up to the chimney, all that was left is to line the fire box with FireBrick according to the installation instruction. Once done, we were ready for our first fire. Daryl, the builder of the Kuuma stove, suggests burning about 3 small paper fires to cure the paint. However, it took us about 3 good wood fires after 3 small paper fires before the paint stopped burning off and the hot room was usable. Don’t rush it, take your time and let it cure.

First firing of our Kuuma sauna wood burning stove.
First firing of our Kuuma sauna wood burning stove.

Wood burning Kuuma sauna stove with the lights turned off.
Wood burning Kuuma sauna stove with the lights turned off.

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